After there was speculation that Julio Jones may not be in an Atlanta Falcons jersey at the start of the 2018 NFL season, now a report in NFL.com the All-Pro wide receiver wants to rework his deal and may not be present at the team’s OTAs.
As written by Nick Shook, Jones was in and out of OTAs last offseason with no detriment to the Falcons, and the situation appears similar this time around, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. But there’s an additional wrinkle that could make what seems clear somewhat murky.
The speculation about Julio Jones and his status with the Falcons came into question prior to the NFL Draft when he removed all mention of his current team on a social media account. There was also talk the Falcons may look to deal him, trying to obtain more draft picks. Atlanta used the 26th pick in the field round to grab Alabama wide receiver, Calvin Ridley.
“Jones, a wideout who has posted four straight seasons of at least 1,400 receiving yards, wants an update to his contract, which is scheduled to pay him $10.5 million in 2018, Rapoport reported,” Shook added.
“The star receiver sat down in 2015 to sign his deal, which is a somewhat backloaded contract with his largest single base salary coming in the second-to-last year of the pact (2019) at $12.5 million. Jones’ average annual salary ($14.25 million) places him eighth in the league at the position, behind Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry, A.J. Green and Davante Adams (per Over The Cap). That list alone proves his deal has become outdated.”
Julio Jones has proven to be one of the five best pass catchers in the NFL since he was drafted by the Falcons in the first round in 2011.
Coincidentally, the Falcons made the trade with the Cleveland Browns to select Jones. The Browns could have used the fourth pick in this years Draft as bait to acquire Jones if a deal had been offered.
Despite the news of him potentially missing OTAs, Shook wrote that Jones, who’s been training at Alabama, has been in regular communication with Falcons coach Dan Quinn. The team is OK with his work away from Flowery Branch, Georgia, where the franchise is headquartered, per Ian Rapoport.